A moment of complacency could turn into tragedy: Former Wallaby
“I’ll never forget that uncomfortable and unsettling feeling of driving over something and not really being aware of exactly what it was,” Mr Cannon said.
“I had walked around the car, picked up all the skateboards and scooters that normally are the obstacles you see in the driveway, but Sam had managed to get away from his mum… and (he) managed to get to the back of the driveway.”
Luckily, Sam made a full recovery from the incident, but Mr Cannon knows things could have been very different. He now speaks to other parents about the importance of driveway safety in the hope other families will be spared the trauma his family has been through.
“As difficult as it can be to talk about such a personal tragedy like this, I think the benefit of trying to prevent other families from being exposed to it is something that motivates me to create that awareness for this,” he said.
“We need to be diligent and consistent in taking measures to prevent incidents like this from occurring. Parents need to be conscious of this every time they jump in the car.”
RACQ has this week urged parents to be vigilant around driveways with three Queensland children hit on average each week in low-speed vehicle run overs.
“With children playing around the house over the school break, we’re urging parents to be alert around driveways,” RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said.
“It’s shocking these types of incidents are happening so frequently with eight children killed each year across Australia after being run over.”
Mr Spalding said driveway run overs commonly occurred when young children were unsupervised or had been playing near a vehicle.
“When reversing visibility is poor and children wander into the path of the vehicle, tragic incidents can occur. Parents need to ensure their children are supervised at all times and play areas are separated by fences from the driveway,” he said.
Tips for improving driveway safety:
- Supervise children at all times, especially in areas around vehicles
- Encourage children to play in a designated area, separated from the driveway
- If you are the only adult at home, take the child with you when moving your vehicle
- Walk around the rear of your vehicle before getting into the driver’s seat
- Consider installing rear visibility cameras or sensors to assist in reducing blind spots, but don’t rely solely on technology.